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On Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, about 60 miles (100 km) west of Sapporo, the ski resort of Niseko is based on Mount Niseko Annupuri. Word has got out about the 50 feet (15 meters) of powder snow that falls here each year, and in little over a decade, Niseko has boomed from a collection of small-scale ski resorts clustered around a couple of villages to a major international winter destination. Officially known as Niseko United, it comprises four interlinked resorts – Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri – and is spread around the mountain from east to west, with the main focus being the village ...

On Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, about 60 miles (100 km) west of Sapporo, the ski resort of Niseko is based on Mount Niseko Annupuri. Word has got out about the 50 feet (15 meters) of powder snow that falls here each year, and in little over a decade, Niseko has boomed from a collection of small-scale ski resorts clustered around a couple of villages to a major international winter destination. Officially known as Niseko United, it comprises four interlinked resorts – Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu, Hanazono, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri – and is spread around the mountain from east to west, with the main focus being the village of Hirafu, the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu and where you'll find the bulk of accommodations, dining and après ski spots. Kutchan, the area's main access town with a railway station, is a few miles northeast of Hirafu. Part of the Niseko-Shakotan-Otaru Quasi National Park, Niseko is also a beautiful area to visit in the summer for a range of outdoor activities.

Simon Richmond
About the Expert

Simon Richmond has written Rough Guides to Malaysia and Japan; Lonely Planet guides to India and Russia; and adventure travel guides for Frommer's on Australia, India, South America, and Southeast Asia.

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Simon Richmond for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A mountain range and a town located in northwestern part of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō, Japan.
  • Language: Japanese
  • Currency: Yen
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter: December through April; summer and fall: June through October.